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Business Enterprise Fund hits £70 million after 15 years in business

After 15 years supporting businesses, the Business Enterprise Fund (BEF) has reached a milestone lending figure of £70 million.

The social enterprise, which has offices in Tees Valley, Bradford, Leeds, Goole and Manchester, specialises in providing flexible finance to start-up businesses and SMEs across the North of England.

The 22-strong team focuses specifically on those businesses which are making a positive social impact in their communities.

Steve Waud, chief executive of BEF, said: We’re incredibly proud to have reached £70 million of lending in our 15th year – we have also just celebrated a record month of lending for this year, with £1.15m loaned to start ups and SMEs across our districts throughout October.

“In the current financial year, we’ve completed 268 deals and helped to start 214 UK businesses and as reported in our social impact report earlier this year, we’ve invested more than 3,000 hours of time in supporting our clients.

“Our team of investment managers, which has grown significantly this year due to demand, is extremely passionate about supporting their clients in everything from business planning through to execution.”

BEF uses a responsible finance model that is based on the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals. This ensures that the company is measuring its impact across areas like gender equality, ending poverty and making settlements more inclusive.

Mark Iley, investment manager at BEF since 2012, added: “The social impact BEF is committed to is inspiring and our ethos of loaning to others who are supporting their local communities, whether it’s through job creation, offering facilities or improving the surroundings, is especially rewarding.

“We’re all excited to see what the future brings.”